Heaven And Earth – 1978 – Heaven And Earth

The classic LP by this stellar Chicago harmony group and a monster! Heaven & Earth had a wonderful falsetto harmony sound that reminds us a lot of east coast winners like Blue Magic or The Stylistics and like some of the best east coast groups, this group’s vocals work equally well on slow ballads or faster uptempo numbers, both of which are handled extremely well on the record by producer Clarence Johnson. The bulk of the arrangements on the record were done by Tom Tom 84,  one of Chicago’s true soul geniuses, and in perfect form on this record. The whole thing’s amazingly well put together for an indie soul group album and is a sure indication of the group’s later fame on Mercury.

This is a 320@ vinyl rip of the original Mercury LP including covers.

Tracks
A1 Let’s Work It Out 4:56
A2 Distant Melody 4:42
A3 Guess Who’s Back In Town 6:12
A4 How Do You Think You’re Gonna Find Love 4:02
B1 Run and Tell That 5:58
B2 Dance-a-Thon 5:48
B3 No Limit 3:41
B4 You Area Part of Me 4:02

Chicago’s Heaven and Earth stand as a little known personal favorite.  They were one of those soul groups that should have been major stars, but due to unfortunate timing, lousy management, a never ending series of personnel issues and other misfortunes, never managed to break through outside of their native Chicago.

Brothers Dwight and James Dukes decided to form a vocal group in 1974 while attending Chicago’s South Shore High School.  They quickly recruited friends Michael Brown and Keith Stewart.  The quartet subsequently caught the attention of sometimes promoter Lil Schneider who brought them to the attention of label owner/producer Clarence Johnson.  Together with partner Lucky Cordell, Johnson was suitably impressed, signing the quartet to their new G.E.C. (General Entertainment Corporation) label. 1977 saw the group undergo a nasty personnel shakeup with original lead singer Brown being dumped in favor of former Soul Majestics lead Dean Williams.  The move was instigated by now-manager/producer Johnson and proved extremely unpopular with the Dukes bothers and Stewart.  At the same time, using his connections, Johnson arranged for the new line up to sign with Mercury.

The cleverly-titled “Heaven and Earth” found the quartet working separately with two production teams – Johnson and Ric Williams and Rodney Massey and Lawrence Hanks (the latter also contributed several songs to the project).  Gifted with a nice baritone, Williams handled most of the lead vocals, with performances such as ‘Let’s Work It Out’ baring a passing resemblance to Teddy Pendergrass.  Elsewhere, tracks such as ‘Guess Who’s Back In Town’ and ‘Distant Melody’ (one of the few tracks to showcase Dwight’s pretty falsetto) offered up a set of sophisticated urban contemporary-styled ballads. The lone exceptions to the formula were ‘Run and Tell That’ and the forgettable disco-influenced ‘Dance-a-Thon’.   While the production and performances were impeccable (check out the vocal harmonies on ”How Do You Think You’re Gonna Find Love), by the time the album was released old school soul was all but a dead as a musical genre.  Mercury pulled two singles from the album -1978’s ‘Guess Who’s Back In Town’ b/w ‘No Limit” and 1979’s ‘How Do You Think You’re Gonna Find Love’ b/w ‘Let’s Work It Out’.  The first one just missed the top-40 R&B charts (it peaked at # 42), but the second failed to sell. Even worse, album sales proved non-existent, even in hometown Chicago.

But… This is a fantastic album you should listen, especially those who love smooth soul groups.

(Review by BatCat Records)

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Download link

EasyBytez

You can also listen their debut album “I can’t seem to forget you” here.

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Comments

  1. AHolmes says:

    HOW DO YOU FIND THIS STUFF?

  2. George says:

    This is a reach back for real!!!!

  3. mellowgangsta says:

    Yes Yes Yes!!!Fantastic Group, one of my all time favourite!!! Thanx 4 Posting

  4. nick says:

    thank you!!

  5. Josh says:

    Great group and album. My dad has this on vinyl but he wouldn’t give it to me lol. Thank you!

  6. Tjader says:

    Great stuff, Great stuff

  7. Thomas says:

    Wow! This really takes me back. I haven’t heard this in years! Thanks for sharing. I love it!

  8. hooch says:

    many thanks as always!

  9. Jet says:

    The music they call R&B now is nowhere as good as the romantic and soulful music of the 70’s. Great great group!

  10. Alain says:

    Oh hell yes. Beautiful times….Beautiful Music…..

  11. Andre says:

    Hot hot record. Such soulful & beautiful music thanks alot Nikos!

  12. croatoa says:

    Nikos please don’t be sad for small number of comments…i’m just one of them, but my thanx come straight from the heart: this blog helps me in my knowledge and passion for this great music. you really change my life. thanx again.

  13. chadyoung says:

    Sweet..Thanks

  14. M DOT says:

    MAN, I’VE BEEN FOLLWING YOUR BLOG FOR AWHILE NOW AND I JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU FOR PUTTING ME ON TO THESE GROUPS I WOULD’VE NEVER EVEN KNOWN ABOUT. MAN, WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO MUSIC LIKE THIS. IT SURE DON’T SOUND LIKE THIS ANYMORE. I GUESS THA’S WHY I APPRECIATE PRODUCERS LIKE 9TH WONDER HE REACHES BACK FAR BEYOND HIS ARMS LENGTH TO SAMPLE FORGOTTEN GEMS AND ALL THE WHILE MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE ORIGINAL RECORDING. I AM REALLY GETTING SCHOOLED BY THIS BLOG OF YOURS. THANKS BROTHA.

  15. kirk says:

    Thanks for sharing gems like this.

  16. rich says:

    i beeen away for a while but am back now and what a treat to grab many thanx nikos

  17. Lena says:

    Thank you so much for posting this GEM! I may be 28, but I am an old school sister for life! 

  18. Callius says:

    Wow -love it. Will keep it running through the night…

  19. Martini says:

    Niiiiiiice! Thanks 4 sharing this 1:)

  20. bananamous says:

    thanks for the share. look forward to checking this one out tonight

  21. Goran says:

    Can u fell the soul from the heart?

  22. Trakbuv says:

    Wonderful LP from the multi-lead vocalist group. Really so underestimated in their day when groups like The Dramatics were finding renewed favour. And two of my favourites by them appear on this LP, the woefully ignored ‘Run and tell that’ dance classic, and the big ballad ‘How you gonna find love’ both showcasing the versatality of this supreme outfit. Big up Nikos !

  23. Dan says:

    Thanks for this rare album.

  24. Brotherpete says:

    Great stuff once again, thanks ever so much !!!

  25. Bloth says:

    Another great piece of soul muzack! Thanks!

  26. Boo says:

    Heard of these guys, but never heard them. Thanks for completing the circle!

  27. soulman71 says:

    efxaristo!

  28. hanks says:

    thanks for this !

  29. dopey says:

    There is so much to learn from the past … thanks again for a 5-star post Nikos.

  30. Robert says:

    thanks for this great discovery!!

  31. jean paris says:

    lets work it out….i like the song…remind me stuffs…nikos u are a real soul guy with a big heart (i know what im talkin about)and thanks again dude 4 the cloud one (dancefloor at home):=))))) take care dude jean paris

  32. Bill says:

    great group. both albums are wonderful.

  33. Amalia says:

    :( its sad isn’t it that they cant make music beautiful any more

  34. David S. says:

    Oh my gosh, this is probably one of my favorite albums you’ve put up here. Thanks!

  35. nickwall says:

    Once again, another nice selection! Thanks!!

  36. SoulJah says:

    Downloaded this a couple of days ago and just enjoyed my first listen! Wonderful, Thanks once again!!

  37. Dreamer456 says:

    Thanks so much. Can’t wait to check it out.

  38. Jazzwhatever says:

    thanks for sharing!!

  39. herbortice says:

    Respect, this is a fine album.

  40. catacaldos says:

    Great post!!!! Thank you very much.Respect.

  41. Great soul group ! Great post !

  42. Witchy Woman says:

    Oh my. Thank you for sharing this!

  43. Nemojammo says:

    Thanks for the super link, its people like you keeping this music from dying.

  44. Ricardo says:

    I’ve been snoozin’ missed these Heaven and Earth sweet gems – thanks for your outstanding work

  45. gjack17707 says:

    Thank you! I’ve been looking for this song for two years! IT TAKES ME BACK TO THE FIRST TIME i HEARD THIS SONG AND THE GROUP. I’m a fan for life!

  46. Kelly Peter says:

    Wonderful album! Thanks!!

  47. velton hines says:

    I love those guys those were great albums i had the first heaven & earth fan club in gary ind. you will be missed you guys should form a reunion

  48. Uncle Joe says:

    I searched You tube yesterday and found some of the H&E old tracks. It brought back good memories. One song not mentioned in this is from the Duoble fantasy LP. It’s ” I Only Have Eyes For You”. Classic song that I danced to with my wife 23 years ago. When I heard it for the first time in more than a decade we danced again. If the singers are still around THANKS for that beautiful song.

  49. Daviid says:

    Super album, thanks!

  50. simon666 says:

    thanks so much guys!

  51. Chris B. says:

    Wow I just came across their business card that James Dukes gave me way back when. I was not ready to take to the stage, I was extremely shy, Now I am in the Studio and have a single out on line, I have had the fun of being in to house bands and I am not giving up. Music was good and real back then and I don’t care what they say Music has no age limit, if you’ve got the talent don’t let it go keep going God gave us the talent so we that are in the entertainment of Music have been blessed to share the sound of Music with the world. Sing it out LOUD !

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